Illegal iPhone Tetherers on AT&T to be Slapped With Fees; Android Users Next?


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AT&T’s bringing the banhammer down on unauthorized tethering, it seems, after they discovered users on iPhone and iPhone 2 sharing their data connection using an application called MyWi. After reading several accounts of the story, it appears AT&T has only targeted this specific group.

The letter sent to suspecting tetherers warn them that such actions are against the carrier’s terms of service and that if they don’t stop before March 27th, they’ll be automatically added to AT&T’s Data Pro plan (which affords users two extra gigabytes per month allowance for account-wide data and enables tethering.)

Us Android power users know the act of “illegal” tethering well, of course, so this story worries me as it may come back to haunt you AT&T users. Folks can remain hopeful after hearing iPhone users take advantage of iOS’s built-in tethering mechanism to facilitate their needs. This means AT&T can most likely detect whether or not you’re supposed to be doing what you’re doing.

On Android, phones with Froyo+ have tethering options built-in (at the carriers’ discrection), but most rooters (including those on 2.1 and earlier) use third-party applications which don’t interface with Android’s built in mechanism and that may make it difficult for AT&T to determine whether or not you’re tethering.

You folks should be safe for the time being, but take this as a quick PSA letting you know that your days could be numbered if AT&T figures out a way to catch you. You can find a full copy of AT&T’s letter to tetherers here. [TUAW, Thanks James!]


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